Friday, March 25, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 25, 2005 . . . While one horse has been pulled from the Lane’s End Stakes undercard, most trainers spent Friday morning making final preparations for the five stakes races at Turfway Park on Saturday.
Trainer Nick Zito has scratched Pinpoint from the Rushaway Stakes, the day’s 1 1/16-mile race for three year olds. He did not offer an explanation for the decision. Pinpoint had drawn post 11 in the 12-horse field.
Those horses already on the grounds got a look at the track surface Friday. With the track sealed against overnight rain, most trainers sent their charges for easy jogs around the one-mile oval.
Trainer Jennifer Pedersen opted for a light jog twice around the track for Mr Sword, Daddy Joe, and Amazing Buy, entered in the Lane’s End Stakes, Rushaway Stakes, and Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup, respectively. Both Mr Sword and Daddy Joe drew outside posts for their races. Amazing Buy will break from post 2.
Proud Accolade, the favorite in the Rushaway, and Flower Alley, entered in the Lane’s End, both had easy jogs once around the track for the second day in a row. The change from the heat of Palm Meadows to the early spring chill of Turfway Park has agreed with both colts, said Ginny DiPasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “They like it,” she said. “It would be harder on them to go the other way, from the cold to the heat. They both were bouncing around the shedrow yesterday” after flying in from Florida on Wednesday.
Trainer Paul Aguirre had planned to gallop Texcess Friday but given the sealed track decided instead to send him to the track accompanied by a pony, as he did Thursday. Texcess will break from post 6 in the nine-horse Lane’s End Stakes field, which is fine with Aguirre. “We like the post. We’re happy to be where we are,” he said.
Lane’s End entrant Mayan King went to the gate and then galloped under the watchful eye of trainer Gary Contessa and co-owner Tom Daly, who races under the name Our Canterbury Stables.
Trainer Joe Cain commented on Call the Lord, his entry in the six-furlong Hansel Stakes, also for three year olds: “I think he fits in this race pretty good. The Turfway Prevue [when he finished sixth] was his only bad race. He was head and head until the 16th pole and then got pinned against the rail three times in the stretch. It was one of the roughest-run races I’ve ever seen. But then he came back from that race to win an allowance by 5 3/4 [lengths].
“We plan on keeping him in sprint races. If he runs good in this, there’s a sprint race in Iowa at Prairie Meadows in April [the $50,000 Golden Circle] we may point to.”
Turfway regular Rodney Prescott has the mount on Call the Lord. “Rodney knows him well and he is a good rider,” said Cain. “It’s always a plus to have a rider that’s been on your horse from the start.”
Undefeated Brett’s Favrette has drawn the outside post in the 11-horse Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup field. Said trainer Greg Foley, “It isn’t very good. I’d like to have better. But it’s what we got. She definitely likes the racetrack and she has won at the distance.” Commenting on having secured Jerry Bailey to ride the filly, Foley said, “You can’t get any better than that. He doesn’t need any directions from me.”
Foley also has Touch of Splendor in the Bourbonette, breaking from post 8. “In her last race [the $50,000 Valdale Stakes at Turfway], she ran third behind Brett’s Favrette. [Jockey Orlando] Mojica had a tough time getting her to relax. If she’d had better luck with that, they probably wouldn’t have beaten her in that race. Both my fillies had tough trips and ran big races in the Valdale.
“The filly from New York [Amazing Buy] will be tough in this race. If we can win tomorrow with either one of our fillies we would be tickled to death. We’ll take care of the other stuff [plans for the Kentucky Oaks] later.”
Broke Sharply, who is two-for-two since Foley added blinkers, is the trainer’s entry in the Rushaway Stakes. “He’s got some speed,” Foley said. “I’m asking a lot of him in this race. He’ll have to step up big time against some of these. We’re kind of taking a shot with him. He has learned and improved with the blinkers on. It took a couple of races for him to figure it out. He’s a big good-looking colt but he’s still learning.” Broke Sharply will break from the rail in the Rushaway.
Summing up the action for Saturday’s races, Turfway Park stakes coordinator Randy Wehrman said, “I knew we would have good fields. The only thing that surprised me was having such a well-regarded horse as Proud Accolade in the Rushaway but still having to exclude two. I thought some might back off because of him but they didn’t.”
First post on Saturday is 1:10 p.m. General admission is $10 and parking is free. Some reserved seats remain available. Ticket information is available by calling (859) 371-0200 or (800) 733-0200.